# SOAN 2120 Study Guide - Final Guide: Random Number Table, Descriptive Statistics, Scatter Plot

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17 Apr 2017
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Final Exam Chapter Reading Breakdown SOAN 2120
Quantitative Methods
Measures of Variation
Range—subtract lowest number from highest
Percentile—tells the score at a specific place within the distribution (Median is the 50th
percentile)
Standard Deviation— a measure of dispersion for one variable that indicates an average distance
between the scores and the mean
Bi-variate Table
- let a researcher consider two variables together and describe the relationship between them
- Statistical Relationships are based on two ideas: Covariation and Independence
Covariation—things go together and are associated
Independence—opposite of covariation. It means there is no association or no relationship
between variables
Three Techniques help researchers decide whether there is a relationship between to
variables
1. Scattergram or a graph or plot of the relationship
2. Cross Turbulation or a percentage table
3. Measures of Association, or statistical measures that express the amount of covariant by a
single number (correlation co efficient )
Scattergram
- researcher plots each case, where each axis represents the value of one variable
- used for variables measured at the interval or ratio level, rarely for ordinal variables and never
if either value is nominal
- a researcher can see three aspects of a bi-variate relationship in a scattergram
1. Form
2. Direction
3. Precision
- a system for reading percentaged trivariate tables
- 5 Patterns
1. Replication Pattern—when particles replicate or reproduce the same relationship that existed
in the table before considering the control variable
2. Specification Pattern—occurs when one partial replicates the initial bi-variate relationship but
others do not
3. Interpretation Pattern—when the control variable intervenes between the original
independent and dependent variables
4. Explanation Pattern—control variable comes before the independent variable in the initial bi-
variate relationship
5. Suppressor Variable Pattern – occurs when the bi-variate table suggest independence but a
relationship appears in one or both of the partials
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Statistical Control 208
- showing a relationship between two variables is not sufficient enough to say that an
independent variable causes a dependent variable
- a researcher must eliminate alternative explanations—explanations that can make the
hypothesized relationship spurious
- control by choosing a research design that physically controls potential alternative explanations
for results (that threaten internal validity)
- in non experimental research, a researcher controls for alternative explanations with statistics
- measure possible alternative explanations with control variables, then examines the control
variables with multivariate tables and statistics that help them decide whether a bi-variate
relationship is spurious
- a researcher controls for alternative explanations in multivariate analysis by introducing a third
or sometimes fourth variable
- statistical control is a key idea in advanced statistical techniques
- a measure of association like the correlation co-efficient only suggests a relationship
- until a researcher considers control variables, the bi-variate relationship could be spurious
Association 208
- measure of association is a single number that expresses the strength, and often the direction of
a relationship
- condenses the information about a bivariate relationship into a single number
- many measures of association and they are called by letters of the Greek alphabet (lambda,
gamma, tau, chi-squared and rho)
1. Lambda
- used for nominal-level data
- based on a reduction in errors based on the mode and ranges between 0 (independence) and
1.0 (strongest possible relationship)
2. Gama
- used for ordinal level data
- comparing pairs of variable categories and seeing whether a case has the same rank on each
- ranges from -1.0 to 1.0 with 0 meaning no association
3. Tau (Kendall’s Tau)
- used for ordinal level data
- takes care of problems that can occur in gamma
- ranges from -1.0 to 1.0 with 0 meaning no association
4. Rho (correlation coefficient)
- most commonly used measure of correlation
- used for mean and standard deviation of the variables and indicates how far cases are from a
relationship
- ranges from -1.0 to 1.0 with 0 meaning no association
- measures linear relationships
5. Chi-squared
- can be used as a measure of association in descriptive statistics, or in inferential statistics
- can be used for nominal and ordinal data
- has an upper limit of infinity and a lower limit of zero, meaning no association
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Field Research
Strategy for Entering
Planning
- Entering and gaining access depends on common sense judgement and social skills
- Often there are many levels of entry, analogous to the layers of an onion with different issues at each
level
- Best to avoid being locked into specifics because the research process often changes and to have a
fallback plan
Negotiation
Social relations are negotiated and formed throughout research
- Occurs w/ each new member until a stable relationship develops
- Researcher expects to negotiate and explain what they are doing over and over
- Special negotiation (such as offering a service) required to gain access
Disclosure
Researcher decides how much to disclose about their personal life and about the research project
- Disclosing one’s personal life is good for establishing a relationship but the researcher loses privacy
and needs to ensure focus remains on the project
- Research can be covert (no one knows research is being conducted) or everyone can know that it is
being conducted – generally a researcher discloses the project unless there is a good reason not to
Learning the Ropes
- Researcher must learn the ropes after access is obtained and establish rapport Presentation of Self
- People explicitly and implicitly express themselves to others
- We display who we are through our physical appearance, what we say and how we act
- A researcher is conscious of how they present themselves in the field and the best guide of how to
dress is to both respect oneself and those being studied as self-presentation will influence field relations
to some degree
Researcher as Instrument
- Instrument for measuring field data
Two implications:
1. Pressures the researcher to be alert and sensitive to what happens in the field and to be disciplined
2. Personal consequences as it involves social relationships and personal feelings
- Field researchers are subjective and include their feelings toward field events as data
An Attitude of Strangeness
- Hard to recognize what we are very close to and we fail to see the familiar as distinctive, thus we
think others experience reality just as we do
- Researchers encounter very different assumptions about what is important and how things are done
(culture shock)
- This makes it easier to see cultural elements and facilitates self-discovery
- Attitude of strangeness: questioning and noticing ordinary details or looking at the ordinary through
the eyes of a stranger
- Helps the researcher see the ordinary in a new way
- Encourages them to reconsider their own social world
Building Rapport
- Build rapport by getting along with others in the field so that they can move beyond understanding
members to empathy (seeing and feeling events from another’s perspective)
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